Written by Katy
London wedding photographer on the hunt for inspiration and sweet treats.
Countless couples are concerned or worried about having their photos taken at their wedding.
If you’re reading this you are in the majority! You may worry that you won’t look ‘good’ or you will pull funny faces, or look like a startled deer in headlights ( that’s me for sure!)
This anxiety is so common that I wanted to offer some advice on how to feel comfortable and how to enjoy the experience on your wedding day.
I’ll offer some practical tips in another post, but here are some thoughts which require some deeper inward searching. Let’s dive in!
o1 - Self Acceptance
For years I hated myself in photos, I would avoid them at all costs! but over time I am learning to change my conditioned ‘self speak’ about myself and learning to be kinder to myself about my appearance – especially in photos.
Everyone has something they are hung up about and everyone’s body shape is unique. But the people that really shine bright in wedding photos are those that forget themselves, be in the moment and simply let go.
Tips + Things to ask yourself
Are you worried about your appearance? Are you worried about impressing others and not living up to an expectation of being ‘perfect’? Are you worried about someone close to you judging you?
Can a photographer help you feel better about yourself? To an extent ( I’ll speak about this later in another post) but really you are the master of your own feelings. If you don’t like yourself, you won’t like yourself in photos. It’s the truth.
Obviously the best tip is to stop giving a **** about what others think of you. But I know that’s hard, right? Ok try this brain training technique; catch yourself whenever speaking in a negative light about yourself. First challenge those thoughts (wait is this thing really that bad?) and then change what you say to something loving. Ask your partner to help you too. Hearing their love and acceptance will help you change your internal voice over time.
Another easy tip – change your daily programming; news and environment. Change your social media feed as it’s something you probably see daily. Like many of my female friends, I have felt a need to be thinner. I used to follow so many Yogi’s, models, carb free eating feeds, it just made me feel like crap. Now to help my perspective, I have ditched all media feeds focused on body thinness. Now I follow things like African dance channels on social media, because firstly it’s bloody fun! but also I feel African cultures on the whole are more celebratory of different body types and beauty/self love through dance. This personally has helped me to be kinder to my own body.
o2 - Focus on the bigger picture in your photos
Our focus is capturing your happiness on your wedding day, of you, your partner, your drunk mates and your family having a blast!
But as a photographer, we can’t take away negative feelings you have about yourself, when you look at yourself in your photos. I wish we could, but we aren’t magicians!
If you feel those negative thoughts clouding over you, saying stuff like, I look fat, what’s my hair doing? my dress looks frumpy, try and reframe. Remember how happy you FELT. Think about how the photos take you back to the moment you said yes to you best friend, the joy you felt dancing with your closest friends and those sweet moments with your partner.
o3 - Focus on your partner
It really works. Take yourself out of your own head and simply focus on your partner’s energy and emotion. Dance, play, laugh, cry, run and just be with them. Don’t crush this precious time worrying if your guests are having a good time, are the canapés nice, have the flowers arrived at the reception. NO one cares! Seriously. So stop caring, relax, be free and your photos will be beaming with happiness and love. It’s just one day. So live it!
o4 - Put aside your 'flaws'
Leading up to my wedding I was worried about how I’d look in my wedding dress. Like many women do.
My friend who made me literally the best wedding dress ever, everything I wanted. But when I looked in the mirror I found myself focusing on the parts of me I disliked.
She looked me right in the eye and told me to just get over it. I know it sounds harsh, but it’s so true. Sometimes you just need that.
And you know what. On the day, I didn’t think about my body once. I was so happy, to see Wayne at the chapel, seeing all my friends and family having a good time that none of it mattered.
The energy you will feel on your wedding day is immense. And it will come through in your photos if you let it. Forgive your ‘flaws’. Literally no one is looking at those things but you. Be happy, let go and enjoy your party!